New England 'Clam Bake' Chowdah

Skip Breadcrumb HomeClinics & ProgramsELLICSR KitchenNew England 'Clam Bake' Chowdah
Skill Level
Preparation Time 15 minutes Total Time 45 minutes (+ soaking time)
Servings 6 Cost Per Serving $3.85
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Image of New England 'Clam Bake' Chowdah.


1Large Onion, roughly chopped
2Garlic Cloves, roughly chopped
2 stalksCelery, peeled and roughly chopped
1 cupCooked Corn Niblets (roasted or steamed)
1 L Vegetable or Chicken Stock, or Water
1 cupClam Cooking Liquid or Jarred Clam Juice
2 cupsSmall Red-Skinned Potatoes, halved
2 lbsCherrystone Clams or other small Clams (or 1 can of Clams)
1 lbsCooked Lobster or Scallops (optinal), roughly chopped
1 cupWhole Milk (or your favourite dairy-free alternative)
1/2Lemon, juice only
3 tbspFresh Parsley or Chives, finely chopped
4 sprigsThyme, removed from stem
1 tbspOlive Oil or Grape Seed Oil
To tasteSea Salt and Freshly Ground Black Pepper


  1. ​If using fresh clams, add them to a bowl and cover them in cold water. Add a good pinch of salt and about a ¼ cup of cornmeal. Let them sit for about 30 minutes to 1 hour so that the clams can purge out any sand.
  2. To cook the clams, bring two cups of water or stock to a boil, add your clams, reduce the heat, cover and simmer for 10 minutes. Discard any unopened clams and remove opened clams from their shells, set aside. Reserve 1 cup of the cooking liquid
  3. Add oil to a large stock pot over medium heat. Once the oil begins to shimmer add your onions and celery, and sauté for about 5 minutes until slightly translucent. Add garlic, potatoes and thyme and sauté for another 2 minutes. Add clam juice and then add enough stock to cover the ingredients. Raise the heat and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer until the potatoes are cooked (about 15 minutes).
  4. With a ladle, remove about half the potatoes and add them, and some of the broth, to a blender. Add the whole milk and about half your corn. Blend until smooth and return to pot.
  5. Add your clams, lobster meat and remaining corn, and season with lemon juice, fresh parsley or chives and a little sea salt and black pepper. Serve and enjoy!


  • Clams are a nutritious choice for several reasons: they are rich in iron and protein, but they are also low in fat. A serving of clams (about 8 small clams) contains 22 milligrams of iron, which is more than most people need in a day. They offer 20 g of protein and less than 2 grams of fat for 8 small clams.
  • Clams are also low in mercury and are a sustainable choice of seafood. Visit SeaChoice or OceanWise for lists of sustainable seafood.
  • Corn is a good source of fibre, with 250 mL (1 cup) providing 4.5 grams.  The type of fibre in corn supports the growth of healthy bacteria in the large intestine. The healthy bacteria convert this fibre into short-chain fatty acids, which help reduce risk of colon cancer.